Prospective parents have long wondered about the gender of their babies before they are born. But now, with today’s advancements in technology and testing, the wondering can be put to rest should expectant parents choose to do so.
Gender selection is a procedure in which a couple planning a family can predetermine their child’s gender before conception. This is accomplished through In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) where ovaries are fertilized in a lab to assist with conception and insured by Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to screen for details on the embryo. The relatively new science has been met with passionate proponents as well as critics, which can make consideration difficult for those wanting to start a family. What is right is different for every couple, and the experts at Reproductive Fertility Center respect that choice. As you discuss the possibility, read up the whats, hows and whys of gender selection to help you determine if this process is right for you.
First, a quick refresh on how each parent’s genes work together to create a unique human being.
Women only produce “X” chromosomes, therefore, it is the father’s sperm that determines whether an embryo is male or female. If the father’s sperm contains an “X” chromosome, the resulting baby will be female, with two X chromosomes (XX). If the father’s sperm contains a “Y” chromosome, the resulting baby will be male, with one X and one Y chromosome (XY).
It is virtually impossible to select the gender of a child without medical intervention, but for medical professionals, the process of selecting a child’s gender is relatively simple.
The Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) tests the embryo for the presence of two X chromosomes (female) or one X and one Y chromosome (male). With this test, the embryos are analyzed with almost 100% accuracy.
Reasons for Gender Selection
- Prevents potential genetic disorders
Pre-selecting the gender can be done as a precautionary measure in certain circumstances. If one of the partners has a genetic history of disorders or diseases that are gender specific, IVF measures can be taken to select the opposite gender and avoid health hazards for the child down the line.
- Helps control family size and demographic
A common dilemma when a couple is starting a family is the desire for a specific number and ratio of kids (i.e. 1 boy and 1 girl). However, making their dream a certainty is impossible and couples will often find themselves having more children than they intended with the hopes of having both a boy and girl. Predetermining gender is a proactive way to create a family exactly how you envisioned without taking the risk of over-extending your family beyond your desire or means.
- It helps parents be better prepared
Pregnancy and the early stages of raising a newborn can be extremely hectic. Having items such as clothing, toys, bedding and pacifiers set aside far in advance will give to-be parents tremendous peace of mind. Knowing the gender from the start will provide that opportunity so parents can avoid unnecessary stress.
The Gender Selection Debate
An issue that some have with gender selection is the future implications it carries if it continues to be a growing trend. Many fear that allowing the process brings us to being able to create “designer babies.” Those on this side of the argument worry that gender selection for non-medical reasons will increase sexism, gender imbalance, and other forms of intolerance. While it is not yet popular enough to have a major impact on the population, some people fear that it may pose a problem down the line.
If you’re waiting to start or grow your family, chances are you have thought about your future child’s gender. You might like the idea of being surprised, but maybe the anticipation of not knowing causes too much anxiety. No matter where you stand in the debate, Reproductive Fertility Center’s staff of expert medical professionals are happy to discuss gender selection options with you.
Learn more about gender selection, IVF and Preimplantation Genetic Screening by calling Reproductive Fertility Center today. Book your appointment online at www.reproductivefertilitycenter.com/locations-contact/ or call our main office at (949) 453-8600. Dial (626) 388-6022 for Chinese 中文.